Sen. Jack Latvala

Florida Channel

For the most part, Governor Rick Scott’s $87.4 billion budget proposal appears very promising. That’s according to the Florida Senate’s new budget chairman,  Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island).

Greg Evers twitter

Bills paying tribute to former North Florida Republican Greg Evers are quickly moving through the legislature.

Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater)
The Florida Channel

A Florida Senator is urging Governor Rick Scott to allocate $20-million in reserve funds to opioid treatment and prevention.

Clearwater Republican Jack Latvala, the irascible Senate budget chief who is mulling a run for governor, is already spicing up the race.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

The war chest for Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam continues to swell as the leading GOP contender for governor wraps up his official first week of campaigning.

FL House shortly before adjournment.
Nick Evans

The Florida Legislature has passed its budget and gone home.  But the manner in which lawmakers closed out this year’s session raises a number of questions about process, special session, and the veto pen.

Nick Evans / WFSU News

The Florida legislature is weighing a transportation related measure in the final days of session. Lawmakers are considering revising laws related to self-driving cars, driving under the influence and specialty license plates.

Staffers handing out budget offers ahead of Wednesday's hearing.
Nick Evans

The Florida Legislature wasn’t able to get it done on time, but leaders are nearing the finish line for the coming fiscal year’s budget.  Drafters closed out numerous portions of the spending plan Wednesday after days of behind the scenes negotiations.

Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater)
The Florida Channel

Florida Sen. Jack Latvala says he’s not ready to give up politics after he’s term limited in the Senate next year. But he won’t say what he’s eyeing next. Latvala spoke at the Tiger Bay Club in Tallahassee.

The Florida Channel

State lawmakers are trying to assert greater control over boards that step in when local governments or school boards become insolvent.  Clearwater Republican Jack Latvala is carrying the bill in the Senate.

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala speaks with reporters about her decision to not pursue the death penalty during her administration.
Renata Sago / WMFE

  Update 4:20 p.m.: Governor Rick Scott has signed off on an executive order stopping Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala from prosecuting Markeith Loyd case.  Scott has assigned Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Brad King to the case.

A powerful Senate Republican with an eye on the Florida Governor’s mansion is a step closer to lending 40 thousand small business owners a hand.

Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater)
The Florida Channel

Money is tight in Florida’s capital, and new leaders in the House appear skeptical of devoting more of it to Visit Florida.  But Senate lawmakers are wary of cutting funds that promote tourism.

Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew are igniting a power struggle that could affect millions of Florida electric customers.

One of the state’s largest police unions is singing the praises of incoming Senate budget chairman Jack Latvala.

Incoming Senate budget chair Jack Latvala is criticizing Tallahassee’s recovery efforts after Hurricane Hermine and is threatening to put locally owned utilities under state regulation.  But not everyone agrees it would be a good idea.

computers.com

Lawmakers say homeowners would be less of a target for internet scams if Governor Rick Scott agrees to keep email traffic with local tax collectors private. The legislation was a priority for Republican Senator Jack Latvala of Clearwater.

The Senate is set to take up the task of determining how emails and social media accounts will be accessed after death, but some claim the measure could interfere with existing federal law.  

Center for Advanced Research and Teaching

The Senate Appropriations Committee deliberated on legislation left over from a previous hearing, but it went anything but quietly. A heated debate on a “fractious” subject lit up an otherwise uneventful meeting.

Florida Senate

A highly controversial bill pitting civil right against civil right is on final approach to Governor Rick Scott’s desk. While adoption is one of the most private decisions a family can make, a so-called “religious conscience” bill is stirring a very public debate.

Sally Falko

David Beckham’s bid to extend a Florida sales tax rebate to his proposed Major League Soccer facility may be in jeopardy.  The Senate chose Thursday to delay a vote on the bill at the last minute.

Florida lawmakers feel sports facilities like stadiums have an important role to play in metropolitan environments.  Not only are they a significant source of tax revenue, but they can serve as a kind of hub supporting complimentary businesses like restaurants. 

A Florida Senate panel has rejected several attempts to revive a plan giving the children of undocumented immigrants in-state tuition.

Efforts to revive the proposal failed in the appropriations committee Tuesday as the bill sponsor, Sen. Jack Latvala’s (R-Clearwater) attempts to get the language amended onto other education bills were thwarted by Senate Rules Chairman John Thrasher. Thrasher ruled the language didn’t relate closely enough with the other proposals. 

After the votes, Governor Rick Scott talked with reporters and repeated his support for the proposal: